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Newspaper Clients
When Good Ads Go Bad
What's adjustment worthy?
When Good Ads Go Bad

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What kind of error deserves an adjustment? Again, it's going to depend on each newspaper's policy, but usually it's something along the following lines.

If the error is so large that it creates no value for the advertiser, a full adjustment in the form of an ad rerun correctly is typically in order. This category would include ads where major elements are missing or wrong, like the company name, phone number, address, or prices.

A full adjustment might also be called for when the ad causes problems or embarassment for the advertiser, as was the case with an ad for spider vein treatment which incorrectly run as "spider vein transplant". The doctor said the error embarrassed him in front of his colleagues and, rightfully so, received a full rerun at no additional cost.

More minor errors like one price out of ten being wrong or something not being centered properly may be handled in a couple of ways. Although some newspapers will automatically rerun an ad like this just to keep the customer happy, other newspapers will figure that the advertiser got partial value from the ad and will only make a partial adjustment, usually in the form of a minor discount towards rerunning the ad.

In fact, most rate cards will also include the newspaper's legal disclaimer and often contains a line saying that only the part of the ad that's wrong will be adjusted. So if an incorrect phone number only takes up one-twentieth of the ad, then the newspaper reserves the right to only adjust the cost of one-twentieth of the ad. I've never heard of a newspaper actually enforcing this, however, since it doesn't exactly endear themselves to their advertisers.

Next: Worst case scenarios


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